Institute News

USC Shoah Foundation Hosts Third Meeting of UNESCO Latin American Network for Education on the Holocaust and Other Genocides

Representatives from twelve countries will participate in a one-day meeting Friday, Sept. 9 at USC Shoah Foundation to continue their work on developing regional and national activities within the framework of the UNESCO Latin American and Caribbean Network for Education on the Holocaust and Other Genocides.

The Network was founded in 2014 in Costa Rica with a view to enhance regional dialogue on Holocaust education, genocide prevention, and dealing with difficult pasts through education. The Network stimulates national activity and gives rise to regional programs conducted under the guidance of UNESCO and in partnership with organizations providing expertise in the field, such as Yad Vashem (Israel) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The meeting is supported by USC Shoah Foundation and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Stephen Smith, executive director of USC Shoah Foundation, holds the UNESCO Chair in Genocide Education.

The participants are mostly from the ministries of education of their respective countries, including Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala and El Salvador. Representatives from Yad Vashem (Israel) and Yahad-in-Unum (France) will also take part in the meeting.

The meeting will be held on the USC campus in Los Angeles and will begin with a presentation by USC Shoah Foundation staff. The participants will then report on their recent and ongoing regional initiatives for Holocaust and genocide education in their countries.

For example, the Ministry of Education of Argentina hosted a webinar in 2015, El Salvador participated in International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) meetings, and the Jewish Museum of Chile and Iberoamericana University in Mexico cooperated on joint projects last year.

The participants will then discuss prospective initiatives, in particular Yahad-in-Unum’s travelling exhibition for Latin America. The group will also discuss how to establish future projects’ priorities and perspectives for funding. All delegates will also have the opportunity to submit proposals for consideration by the group.

Immediately following the meeting, the delegates will attend a two-day professional development seminar, also hosted by USC Shoah Foundation, focused on utilizing testimony for teaching about genocide and in particular introducing IWitness as a tool for use in the Latin America environment.

Both the meeting and the professional development seminar were scheduled in the context of the USC Shoah Foundation launch of the Guatemala Genocide Collection in the Visual History Archive and IWitness and the conference on genocide and resistance in Guatemala Sept. 11-14.